(circa 1606-1686/7) - Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England; Lynn, Essex co., MA

(First Generation - Collins Family)


BIRTH Henry was born circa 1606 in Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England[1,2,3]. He was 29 when he came over in 1635 and also was deposed in November 1662 "aged about fifty-five years".
DEATH & BURIAL Henry died in Lynn, Essex co., MA in 1687; he was 81, as "Collins, Henry, sr., grandfather of Henry, 3rd". He was buried on 20 February 1686/7 in the Old or Western Burying Ground, Lynn, Essex County, MA[1,4].
MIGRATION Henry Sr., age 29, and wife Ann, age 30, emigrated on the Abigail with their three children Henry Jr., age 5; John, age 3; and Margery, age 2. They sailed from Plymouth, England on 1 August 1635 and arrived in Boston, Suffolk co., MA on 8 October 1635. They were infected with smallpox when they arrived. They all had certificates of conformity from the minister of Stepney, as did their four servants: Joshua Griffith, Hugh Alley, Mary Roote and Jo[hn] Coke. Geo[rge] Burdin may or may not have also been a servant[2,28,29].
OCCUPATION He was listed as a starchmaker on his emigration records, but became a husbandman or yeoman in Lynn.
EDUCATION An educated man, he signed his name as a witness in June 1676 and his estate included "some books & a Bible"[5,6].
RESIDENCE & REAL ESTATE The family immediately settled in Lynn, Essex co., MA. In the 1638 Land Distribution there, he was granted "uplands and meadow, 80 acres and ten" -- one of the larger allotments, indicating he had contributed a great deal of money to the settlement of the town[30]. His home was on Essex Street.

On 1 September 1654, Daniel King of Lynn, gentleman, and his "now wife" Elizabeth sold to "Henry Collens Sr. of the same town and county, husbandman," ten acres of fresh meadow and six acres of land and ten acres that were old Goodman Fitche's and four more acres of fresh marsh[31]. On 14 March 1671/2, "Henry Collings, Sr., of the town of Lynn,... Yeoman," sold to Andrew Mansfield 5-1/2 acres in Reedy Meadow[32,33].

FREEMANSHIP Henry took the Oath of Freeman on 9 March 1637 in Lynn, Essex co., MA[7,8,9]
TOWN SERVICE He became a valued member of the Lynn community. He served on the Essex petit jury on 24 June 1637, 26 December 1637, 31 December 1639, 29 September 1640, 25 January 1641/2, 26 December 1643, 28 December 1647, 26 December 1648, 24 June 1656, 30 June 1657, 26 June 12660 and 23 May 1660[32,34]. He served on the Grand Jury on 30 December 1645, 31 December 1650, 24 June 1651, 30 November 1663, 28 November 1665, 29 November 1667, 29 November 1670, 26 November 1672, 24 November 1674, 20 July 1675, 25 November 1679[32,35]. He was a Member of the Salem Court in 1639.

Henry further was appointed Selectman for the town of Lynn on 31 March 1661, 4 February 1662/3, and 23 November 1666[32,36]. He was appointed Lynn Constable on 12 July 1642 and in June 1667[37]; served on the Committee to authorize the felling of trees on 15 May 1671[38] and was appointed Tithingman on 26 June 1677[32,39].

LEGAL MENTION Robert Anderson describes Henry's frequent appearances in court: "Henry Collins was frequently a witness in court, probably in his capacity as constable of Lynn[10]. He helped appraise the estate of Edmund Ingalls of Lynn in 1648[11], William Tilton of Lynn in 1653[12], William Harker in 1661[13], George Farr in 1662[14], Richard Johnson of Lynn in 1666[15] and John Humphreys in 3 July 1663[16].

To satisfy a debt of the town of Lynn, the marshal, Robert Lord, went to the house of Henry Collins and attempted to collect the debt. Witness Edward Ierson deposed that "Collins told the marshal that the debt was not his, and that he should go and take the common, and the marshal said if Collins paid it, the town should pay him back. Then Collins told him that he should have twenty acres of his own land about his house, or he said, 'here is the town common before my door, take that for your satisfaction,' all of which the marshal refused'[17]. Collins was arrested and the marshal attempted to take him to jail, but the neighbors would not help him, and even hindered him, as John Hathorne did, saying hat 'the marshal was a lying, prating fool and knave, and would prove him so'[17]. The court found for Robert Lord, with no visible penalty to Collins[18], but repercussions for years later appear in the form of minor court cases[19].

On 7 April 1681, Henry Collins brought slander charges against an intemperate neighbor, 'being desirous to vindicate the suffering name of God and mine own innocency and honesty, which is highly defamed by obscene and slanderous speeches divulged by John Davis of Lynn and his wife to the blurring my reputation among Christians in reporting that jurisdiction having provided that no person's good name or reputation should causelessly be defamed, I do therefore seriously apply myself to your honors to take such a course whereby God's glory and my suffering name may be vindicated'[20]. There is no record of the court's decision.

Henry was still deposing in court as late as November 1682, when he described laying out several farms in Lynn 1637[21]..." [22]

ESTATE Henry Senior's will is dated 10 February 1686/7 [Suffolk Probate 1532].

"In his will, dated 11 February 1686/7 and proved 31 March 1687, 'Henry Collins, Senior, of Lynn, aged 82 or thereabouts, being weak and infirm in body' confirmed the gifts of land given to 'my own natural children or those that stand related to me by marriage with any of my daughters' including 'my son Johnson upon marriage with my daughter'; 'my dear and loving wife, who hath ever been tender of my and industrious in her place in procuring what outward estate God hath bestowed upon us' to receive the benefit of all the housing and lands; 'my movables, chattels, cattle, etc. 'at her disposal to either 'my own chiledren or my grandchildren as she shall see cause at her decease'; after wife's decease, lands and meadows wheresoever divided equally 'among my three sons, Henry, Joseph and Benjamin, only my eldest son Henry have 30 pounds worth of land more'; to 'my son Benjamin,' ten acres of land in my planting field'; to 'my daughter Margery,' 30; to 'my daughters Hannah and Elizabeth,' 20 a piece; 'as for my son John deceased his portion he received in his life time and so that his child4en do greatly and peaceably enjoy the same'; 'my children' to be dutiful and tender to 'their aged mother'; 'my loving wife and eldest son, Henry Collins,' executors; 'Mr. Oliver Purchase and Mr. Jeremiah Shepard' overseers[23].

The inventory of the estate of 'Henry Collins Senior of Lynn,' presented 31 March 1687, totalled 474 10s., of which 406 was real estate: 'The dwelling house and barn with all other housing with the orchard and land therein,' 70; 'land, upland and pasture land, meadow salt and fresh,' 315; and '80 acres of wilderness land up in the country so-called but sold, 21[24].

On 13 December 1687, 'Ann Collins of Lyn..., widow and relict of Henry Collins Sr. of Lynn, deceased and Henry Collins, no Senior of Lyn Aforesaid, son of Ann Collins aforesaid, executors to the last will and testament of Henry Collins Senior deceased,' confirm to Thomas Bancroft Senior of Lynn the sale of 'a certain parcel of land containing twenty acres by estimation situate and being in Lyn bounds up in the country so-called'[25] On 31 December 1687, ' Ann Collins of lyn..., widow and relict of Henry Collins Sr. of Lynn, deceased, and Henry Collins, now Senior of Lyn aforesaid, son of Ann Collins aforesaid, executors to the last will and testament of Henry Collins Senior decease,' confirm to John Bankecroft of Lynn the sale of 'a certain parcel of land containing twenty acres y estimation situate and being in Lyn bounds up[ in the country so-called'[26] The dates on these two deeds raise the suspicion that one of them was recorded incorrectly , and that both instruments were in fact executed on the same day..."[27]

MARRIAGE Before 1629 when Henry was 23, he married Ann RIALL/ROYAL, in St. Dunstan, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England[1,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52].

CHILDREN 2. i. Henry COLLINS Please see his own page.
3. ii. John COLLINS John was born on 14 January 1631 in Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England and baptized in St. Dunstan, Stepney, London, England on 22 January 1631/2" at 8 days old, the 'son of Henry Collins of Ratcliff Highway, starchmaker, & Anne uxor'.."[1,59]. John was 3 when they came over on the Abigail in June 1635[1,2,61]. John married Abigail JOHNSON.
4. iii. Margery COLLINS Margery was born on 6 November 1633 in Stepney, Middlesex, England and baptized in St. Dunstan, Stepney, London, England on 13 November 1633[1,59] "...at 7 days old, 'daughter of Henry Collins of Ratcliff Highway, starchmaker, & Anne'...". She was aged 2 when they came over on the Abigail in June of 1635[1,2,61]. Margery married Isaac WILLIAMS.
5. iv. Hannah COLLINS Hannah was born circa 1635 in Lynn, Essex County, MA and died in Lynn, Essex County, MA on 27 January 1718; she was 83. She married Nathaniel INGERSOLL.
6. v. Mary COLLINS Mary was born circa 1640/1 in Lynn, Essex County, MA and died in Lynn, Essex County, MA on 9 February 1682; she was 42. On 22 January 1663/4 when Mary was 23, she married Samuel JOHNSON, in Lynn, Essex co., MA[28].
7. vi. Joseph COLLINS Joseph was born circa 1642/3 in Lynn, Essex County, MA. Joseph first married Sarah SILSBEE, daughter of Henry SILSBEE & Dorothy [surname not known] and second married Mariah SMITH.
8. vii. Riall COLLINS Riall was born circa 1644/5 in Lynn, Essex County, MA[28] as estimated from her death record which states that she died in her 37th year. Riall died in Lynn, Essex County, MA in 14d:3m(May):1681.
9. viii. Elizabeth COLLINS Elizabeth was born circa 1646 or 1648 in Lynn, Essex County, MA and died in Lynn, Essex co., MA on 21 February 1686; she was 40, as "Collins, Eliza, d. Henry"[69].

On 30 November 1666 when Elizabeth was 20, she married John TOLMAN, son of Thomas TOLMAN Sr. & Sarah [surname not known], in Lynn, Essex co., MA[28]. John was born circa 1643, as estimated from his death information. He died in Dorchester, Suffolk co., MA on 1 January 1724/5; he was 82[70]. He made Freeman in 1678[70].

10. ix. Benjamin COLLINS Benjamin was born circa 1648 or 1650 in Lynn, Essex County, MA. Benjamin first married Priscilla KIRTLAND and second married Elizabeth [surname not known].

GENERATION Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (G8) Grandfather
SOURCES 1. Edward Carroll Death Record, 19 October 1899, Lynn, Essex co., MA, 1866, 192, p. 186, #337.

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